Kenya is negotiating with the World Bank for a $750 million loan for budgetary support, documents on the proposed funding posted on the lender’s website showed on Tuesday.
The East African nation has multiple development funding programmes, worth billions of dollars, with the Washington-based lender, but the funding bypasses the Treasury and is usually channeled straight into the projects.
If the $750 million loan gets approved, it will be the first time in years the World Bank is putting cash straight into the Treasury to be used at the discretion of the government, said a source with knowledge of the issue.
The loan, which comes under the bank’s so-called development policy financing, is designed to support the government’s policy and institutional reforms and help make economic growth more inclusive.
Kenya’s public debt as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) has increased to 55% from 42% when Kenyatta took over. The government has defended the increased borrowing, saying the country must invest in its infrastructure, including roads and railways.
Finance Minister Henry Rotich told Reuters earlier this month that he was aiming to bring down debt servicing costs in the next few years to 12-16%.